On A Very Special Episode of Mad Dad…
I picked up my four-year-old daughter, Gwen, from daycare with a very special surprise.
“I got us a movie to watch!”
“What is it?”
“It has dinosaurs!”
An hour later, my wife finds us anchored together on the recliner, in the dark, the only light flickering from the television screen. Our eyes wide. Our bellies
sated with popcorn, M&Ms and Goldfish.
“What are ya’ll watching?”
“Oh my God! You’re letting her
“Sure. It has dinosaurs. Is that
“Have you seen Jurassic Park?”
That is true. I’d never seen Jurassic Park – at the time, the highest-grossing film of all time – until I was 30 years old. I’d held out because even at 13, I knew it was a commercial cash-grab. It wasn’t easy being punk.
“It’s violent! Dinosaurs eating people. I cannot believe she’s watching this!”
“It’s dinosaurs for crying outloud!” Yes. I talk like this.
Then it happens, to our horror. The Tyrannosaurus Rex makes the lawyer disappear much like The Joker made the pencil disappear(http://youtu.be/QehZjjwb7-I). A dino-sized chomp is taken out of Jeff Goldblum. Newman is viciously spat upon and eaten.
(Jurassic Park is one of the great travesties in American cinema for at least a dozen reasons right off the top of my head … however, this is a topic for another Muffin.)
When I was a young child, Jurassic Park would have been nothing. As a youngster, I frequently watched horror and slasher flicks.
The Jurassic Park incident was a reminder that, as parents, we are obligated to raise our children better than the way we were raised. The problem with kids that are out of control isn’t that their parents are raising them worse than they way they were raised; the kids are being raised exactly
how the parent(s) were raised. It’s why we learn that molestation,
alcoholism, drug abuse and other destructive behaviors tend to grow
like ivy up and around the family tree.
I know, I know. This is Grouchy effin’Muffin! It’s Friday! It’s almost Father’s Day!!! And I hate to bring everyone down, but I find it, as the Mad Dad, to set things straight. It is my weekend. Don’t ruin this for me!
I am obligated to instill certain virtues to my daughter. Here is my Father’s Day checklist:
- Shelving the Takashi Miike and Lars von Trier home film festivals.
- Re-enforcing the notion that “blacks” don’t need to be “taught a lesson.”
- No more clown/child molestation jokes.
- Stopping our weekly “hogging”expeditions at local Taco Bell.
- Less re-enacting of John Singleton’s classic, Boyz ‘n’ the Hood.
- Diffusing influence of Sarah Palin.
- Teaching the value of knowing a UNIX system if you are ever trapped on an island with man-eating dinosaurs. If it helped the girl on Jurassic Park, it’ll help my daughter.
Happy Father’s Day